Storage space costs money. Maintaining an ever-growing set of paper files and archives takes up time and other resources. In addition, we must comply with the principles of the Data Protection Act 1998 (DPA) and specifically its fifth principle, ‘personal information is not to be kept for longer than is necessary for the purpose for which it is processed’. As a rule the Limitation Act of 1980 is followed. This act in many cases sets a six year time length after an event has occurred for keeping documents. With this is mind, the association had a comprehensive data cleanse on 5 October, strictly following guidelines produced by the National Housing Federation, supported by the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations, (broadly following the approach taken by the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators).
The core objective of the DPA is to provide a framework in which the rights and freedoms of individuals can be protected. It also attempts to strike a balance between that requirement and the needs of organisations to use information for the purposes of their business. The DPA is underpinned by eight principles that need to be followed to ensure full compliance with the Act. They are:
- personal information is to be obtained and processed fairly and lawfully;
- it is to be processed for specified purposes;
- personal information shall be adequate, relevant and not excessive in relation to the purpose for which it is processed;
- personal information shall be accurate and kept up to date where necessary;
- personal information is not to be kept for longer than is necessary for the purpose for which it is processed;
- it is to be processed in accordance with the rights of individuals under the DPA;
- appropriate technical and organisational measures shall be taken to ensure the personal information is secured from damage or destruction;
- not to transfer personal information to a country that does not offer an adequate level of protection for the privacy of the individual.
In relation to sensitive personal data, the DPA was effectively superseded by the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) in May 2018 and all tenants and partners have received a fair processing notice – there is greater responsibility on us to ensure your personal data is secure, accurate and up to date. All the appropriate guidelines issued by our partners in the SFHA and TC Young solicitors was used as part of our data cleanse processes.
You will find a copy of the fair processing notice and our privacy statement elsewhere on this site. A copy of the document retention schedule is available to those who want it.
All documents have been securely destroyed. All office equipment and other resources, such as tools, etc. which were surplus to our needs have been donated to charitable causes and recorded appropriately.
Going forward, please be assured if you move from a Wellhouse HA tenancy, we will not hold information any longer than is required (usually 6 years) and then it will be securely destroyed.
Any question? Get in touch with us.